If you’ve never been to the Botanic Gardens before, this restaurant may be hard to find. Thankfully, they have large maps at each entrance that tell you where you are, and where the restaurant is. With such beautiful surroundings, having a fine dining restaurant within the gardens just makes perfect sense.
The place itself specialises in modern Australian cuisine. The decor is more traditional, however the comfortable seating and the white table cloths give the place a touch of elegance. As you would expect from this type of establishment, the service was exceptional. With plenty of staff on hand, cloth napkins were placed on our laps, drinks were served promptly, and plates were cleared as we finished our meals.
We came here as a group for lunch with a Festival of Food voucher. For $31.50, we each received entrees, a main of our choice and a small dessert. The meals started coming out 15 minutes after ordering, and the timing between meals was perfect.
GRILLED SCALLOP – The scallop was soft and cooked perfectly. The fish roe and the mashed potato didn’t do much for the dish and were there for display.
TWICE COOKED POLENTA SOUFFLE – This looked like a scone, but one made from polenta. The exterior was nice and firm, while the inside was light and airy. Just like a scone, it tasted a bit bland by itself, but it was still pretty good.
CONFIT RABBIT ROTOLO – This was the first time I’ve actually eaten rabbit. The meat was minced and mixed with herbs, so I couldn’t really tell what it should have tasted like. I could say it tastes like chicken, but doesn’t everything? The cured meat wrapped around the rabbit gave the dish more balance.
LAMB RUMP – The meat was lean, succulent and tender. The meat was perfectly cooked. The mashed up eggplant was kind of bland and was there purely for display purposes. The vegetables were nice and soft, and the sauce was delicious!
CRISPY FRIED POTATOES – These were sliced potatoes, drizzled with olive oil and then shoved into the oven. It came with a watered down capsicum infused dip which was an interesting touch.
SALTED CARAMEL POPCORN TART – The chocolate used in this tart was from Haigh’s, so it was good to see local products used. The popcorn was hard as expected and the tart was nice and firm. Not a bad treat at the end of the meal.
I think this place is perfect for that special occasion. The atmosphere is relaxed and the food is of the highest quality. We came here with a voucher which made prices more palatable, otherwise, bring plenty of money. I love this place!
WHERE: Lot 1, Hackney Rd, Hackney